The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) may receive “something” (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities.
Who might be a victim?
Any young person, boy or girl and from any sector of society can be a victim of CSE. But there are children who may be at greater risk due to their circumstances.
What are some of the signs a child could be a victim?
Running away/missing from home Suicide and suicide attempts Sexualised behviour Self blame (big problem even with succes) Repeated absence from school Lethargy Bully as a victim or perpetrator Disruptive or challenging behaviour
Where are young people likely to be initially groomed?
Any area where young people congregate in the absence of parental supervision or where they can easily be accessed, including:
Shopping centres Social networks and game sites Arcades Cafes Areas with no parental supervision e.g. fairground, circus, rollerball, parks, cinema complexes Takeaway food outlets Sheesha (Hookah) bars Alcohol outlets including corner shops with liquor licenses: effective use of licensing officers can disrupt Taxi drivers “Mascots” (people dressed up as friendly animals)
What methods are used to groom or enforce exploitation on the victims?
It should be recognised that there is always power imbalance and the perpetrators have control over their victims. The child is often encouraged to believe they are in control of the relationship. Methods may include
Presents: especially in the grooming phase Drugs: either supply or paying off drug debt Fear Alcohol Food treats Rewards e.g. mobile phone top ups Psychological cultural control (magic, religion etc) Blackmail Paying off debt Physical violence Mental manipulation